Manny Acta is the "current" Nationals manager

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After several days of unchecked speculation, someone from the Nationals has finally said something about Manny Acta:

Rizzo spoke publicly about the reports for the first time before
Tuesday’s game with the Yankees, and while he offered nothing
resembling a definitive statement on Acta’s status, he said the front
office hasn’t discussed the issue with him.

“It’s certainly uncomfortable with the speculation,” Rizzo said.
“Names are being bandied about of replacements, and we haven’t even
discussed it with the current manager. He’s still our manager. We
support him. And all the reports that happened over the weekend, I
don’t know where those reports come from. And there’s not much to
comment on reports that there’s no basis to.”

Which is strange, because the current manager says that it was discussed
with the current manager: “I spoke to them the same day it came out.
It’s a rumor,” Acta said. One wonders why it took so long for Rizzo to
give Acta this vote of confidence.

Not that it’s really a vote of confidence. Indeed, perhaps the most
notable thing about all of this is that Rizzo calls Acta “the current
manager” in the first place. Strange choice of title for a guy you’re
supposedly not firing. Would you feel comfortable if your boss called
you the “current” accounts receivable clerk or the “current” assistant
to the comptroller? I sure wouldn’t.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.

Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.

Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.

The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.

Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.

Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.

EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.